Without wishing to come across the resident scrooges, we weren’t planning on posting anything Christmas-related. No festive cover albums. No holiday mixtapes. No insufferable reworkings of insufferable songs. If this says something about our psychology, then we dread to think what the song that caused us to break this stance might signify.

We wrote a short piece about the Portland’s Young Elk back in November. The backstory of lead Ezekial J. Rudick is suggestive of something weighty, and the title track confirming this with its bleak atmosphere and strong song writing. As we described in our post:

Imagine taking the slow-burn bitterness of Bazan, adding the sinister undercurrent of Water Liars and sprinkling an almost Berningerian knack for imagery both mundane and melodramatic

If the ‘edgy’ person in the office requests ‘Fairytale of New York’ at the Christmas party, then Young Elk’s take on ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ is the song wanted only by the guy who didn’t show up because he’s driving aimlessly across the night, chain smoking and thinking about doing things he might regret. Rehearsed, arranged and recorded in under 48 hours at Holiday Breath Studios, the track sees Kendall Sallay add her voices for the haunting refrain:

“will you keep me company?
(tidings of comfort and joy)

will you keep me company?
(tidings of comfort and joy)”

Young Elk’s excellent debut album The Dark Side of the Holy Ghost is out now and you can get it from Bandcamp.